Multiplicity - * *

Multiplicity is a cloning comedy that starts out with a great premise, but fails to deliver on its promise. Michael Keaton stars as Doug Kinney, a harried construction worker, who doesn’t have time enough for work, family and himself. He finds a solution for his problems at the Gemini Institute, a research company who have discovered a way to clone people. Doug eagerly signs up, and before long Doug 2 is born. Doug wants to keep his cloning as a secret, even from his wife Laura (Andie MacDowell). This leads to the traditional mistaken identity comic bits, some of which work, but many don’t. Doug discovers that two Dougs aren’t enough…and gets yet another clone. He soon finds out that the clones aren’t perfect copies. Each one begins to develop different personality quirks. Doug 2 is macho and bullying. Doug 3 is sensitive and precise. Multiplicity has lots of potential…but it never reaches it. The film starts out with some good ideas (different clone personalities, cloning of clones, …), but then it stalls (although equipped with stereotypical personalities, the clones never seem like full-fledged people, and just when the cloning seems like it might get out of control…it stops). Keaton does a fine job, clearly delineating his multiple incarnations. The effects are well done, even if there do seem to be a couple of synching problems with Keaton-Keaton dialogue. MacDowell, however, seems just aboard for the ride. There are a couple of good laughs in Multiplicity, but nothing compared to the cloned multiples of laughs that there could have been.

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